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Unread 11-19-2004, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default How DO people get over OCD without drugs?

I want to first say I have not been diagnosed with any sort of anxiety problem or OCD, but I honestly think that I have both. I feel silly explaining this, but since this IS a forum dedicated to this sort of thing I thought you might be able to help. I will make this post about why I think I have OCD...

When I was a young teenager, I started to see the obsessiveness start. For some reason, I was compelled to do certain things. For example, before going to bed, I would have to check to make sure the door was locked three times, check behind my bedroom door, make sure the closet door was open a certain way...etc. No big deal, right? Well, now I am 25 and it is much, much worse. I have this weird "counting" thing that I have to do all the time. For example, I feel compelled to check the stove five times to make sure it is turned off at night. Before I walk upstairs to bed, I turn the doornob to the frontdoor eight times. I look out the upstairs window and count to eight before I can get in bed, I check the alarm clock eight times...etc. The list goes on and on, and it is getting really annoying. I also have an obsession with symetry. I will sit and mess with something until it is positioned exactly as I want it, even if it is something pointless, like a piece of paper on the table.

How do people get over this without medication? I keep telling myself to stop, but it's like I have some mentality that I HAVE to do it because if I don't something bad will happen... I don't know how to convince myself otherwise. Any suggestions?
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Unread 11-19-2004, 11:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: How DO people get over OCD without drugs?

My mate is OCD and he will be the first to say you CANNOT just "get over it" without medication. (He and I have discussed this at length in some really raw passion because I was formerly REALLY against psych meds.) He will say trying to tell yourself to stop is useless, it (the insistent/intrusive thoughts) just get worse and worse till you obey them. His symptoms were so severe he could not function in the everyday world. This was years ago. Prozac worked for him, and basically gave him his life back.
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Unread 11-28-2004, 01:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: How DO people get over OCD without drugs?

Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz from UCLA has had good succes in treating people with OCD without drugs using a very rigorous program of exposure and ritual prevention. The support group I attend used his model for success. (His book is Brain Lock). That being said, I only know one person who is doing relatively well with no medications, and he has some recurrent obsessions and compulsions.

Most of the people who I know who have severe OCD use medications in conjunction with intensive therapy. Generally neither the medications nor therapy can relieve all of the obsessions or compulsions but when used together a great improvement can be seen.

My goal is to reduce my OCD medication as I progress with the therapy, but I realize that since there is a long history of OCD in my family that I may never be off it entirely.

Have you talked to a therapist? You may have to "interview" a few to find one who knows a lot about therapy for OCD but it will be well worth it!

Good luck!

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Unread 11-30-2004, 10:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: How DO people get over OCD without drugs?

I really can't see getting over OCD without drugs. I personally need them. In fact, age 25 was when it got really bad for me too. Ihad to get dressed over and over in the morning, repeat just about everything, go up and down the stairs in my apartment building many times until it felt right, checking my door all night long, obsessing about illness, etc. That's when I first went on medication. Since starting the med, I could control the compulsions MUCH better by myself. I can usually stop them now.
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Unread 12-01-2004, 08:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: How DO people get over OCD without drugs?

I have to agree with Malady...It's hard to control an OCD on your own without drugs. I had many and the worst was the intrusive thoughts. With the help of Prozac, that has eased alot. Not completely gone away, but it has made my world liveable again.

Good luck!
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